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July 31, 1948

Family Skeletons

JAMA. 1948;137(14):1264. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890480084037

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This book is one of a series intended to popularize science, and the hope is expressed that this particular volume may "assuage fears and anguish over deformities." It consists largely of illustrations: the explanatory text is brief. An interesting series of pictures of twins, triplets, quadruplets and quintuplets is presented with explanation of the embryologic processes producing them. That is followed by illustrations of abnormalities, natural or artificial, which the author has found either in nature or in the literature. An estimate is given as to whether or not they are hereditary and, if they are, whether inheritance is dominant or recessive and whether of high or low "penetrance" (frequency). A general glossary of terms commonly used in the literature of human heredity is accompanied by a thirty page list (with definitions) of inherited abnormalities and diseases. Some of the illustrations may disturb rather than comfort the minds of the

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